Plan a Girlfriends’ Getaway to Yadkin Valley Wine Country
Yadkin Valley wine country creates the perfect setting for a girlfriends’ getaway. Home to four small towns — Mount Airy, Elkin, Dobson and Pilot Mountain — there is plenty to do. The surrounding Blue Ridge foothills invite you to spend time outdoors, whether that means hiking at a state park or sipping wine along the Surry County Wine Trail.
The friendly atmosphere found in downtowns, tasting rooms and restaurants welcomes visitors looking for good food and drink without any pretensions. An easy drive from places like Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Raleigh and Roanoke, the Yadkin Valley is perfect for a girlfriends’ weekend in wine country.
Step 1: Lodging
First, choose a lodging property that suits your group. Mitchell River House in Dobson charmed filmmakers of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Longest Ride.” The movie prominently features the renovated farmhouse, which sleeps eight to 10 in three bedrooms with common areas and a great front porch (unlike the movie, hunky bull rider not included).
For rustic meets luxury, check out Carolina Getaway Cabins. With six to eight bedrooms, detailed architecture, wraparound decks and sweeping views, these properties provide upscale retreats with lots of amenities.
The Suites at Pilot Mountain Vineyards include three one-bedroom units with a pool and a stunning view of Pilot Mountain’s distinctive knob. The best part: The new tasting room is a short walk away. Another great option is waking up in the vineyards in one of two winery vacation rentals on the estate of Round Peak Vineyards near Mount Airy.
Step 2: The Wine Trail
Second, make your plans for the main attraction – the wineries. The Surry County Wine Trail showcases 20 wineries in the heart of the Yadkin Valley. While many Southern wine regions are known for sweet wines, this area of North Carolina is ideal for growing European vinifera and French-American hybrid grape varieties used to make excellent dry and semi-sweet wines that pair well with food (and girlfriends’ getaways).
Allow for extra time at Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina. Order a picnic from the winery’s Harvest Grill restaurant and enjoy it on estate grounds as you sip riesling, cabernet franc or petit verdot. JOLO Winery & Vineyards in Pilot Mountain elevates the tasting experience with appropriate stemware for each pour. Don’t miss dining at End Posts, JOLO’s upscale yet comfortable restaurant with an elegantly appointed dining room and patio overlooking the mountains. (Insider tip: reservations required for tastings and dining at JOLO)
For an urban experience, Old North State Winery in downtown Mount Airy offers wine tastings, lunch and dinner in a historic building, along with outdoor dining options. Its Restless Soul wine gets its name from the building’s resident ghost.
For Sunday “fun day,” reserve a few balls of pizza dough (yes, that’s how reservations are made) at Elkin Creek Vineyard. Pair your brick-oven pie with a glass of sangiovese or chambourcin.
Several area tour companies provide winery transportation, so your group can safely taste along the trail. Click here for tour options.
Step 3: Outdoor Adventure
Finally, don’t forget to include the outdoors. Pilot Mountain State Park has miles of hiking trails from easy to strenuous. Loop around the pinnacle base and peer into the valley as the view spans several counties. For a different take, see the park on horseback via several equestrian trails. Local stables offer guided rides.
The famed Mountains-to-Sea Trail runs right down Main Street in Elkin, which is proudly nicknamed a “trails town.” Cross foot bridges, discover waterfalls and then end up in downtown Elkin where you can toast your trek at a local restaurant or brewery. Just outside Elkin, your group can hike to a waterfall and winery on the same trail. For details, click here.
For an easy stroll, the Granite City Greenway in Mount Airy forms a six-mile horseshoe around town with multiple access points along the way.
July 25, 2020
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Along the Surry County Wine Trail, these eight Yadkin Valley wineries are ideal spots for a picnic. Options include bringing your own picnic or picking one up when you arrive.
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Oct. 22, 2015
Herrera Vineyards Opens in the Heart of the Yadkin Valley
Herrera Vineyards offers a dozen wines crafted by winemaker Kevin Childers, a graduate of the enology and viticulture program at Surry Community College.
June 13, 2020
Relaxing Dobson is Dotted with Rental Cabins, Trails and Wineries
Dobson allows visitors to embrace natural resources such as Fisher River Park, while enjoying European-style wines at four vineyards, plus several others nearby. The rolling countryside is dotted with rental cabins that provide maximum social distancing.